We all have critics in life and that critical voice within, and sometimes the shadows of other people’s voices and harsh words once spoken over us. Blogging, writing, putting yourself forth in just about any way, is sure to bring out the disgruntled. Heck, sometimes just getting out of bed will do that.
A few times in real life on the ground I have had so many critics, I’ve had the urge to organize them all into lines and force them to take numbers. I am only one person, I cannot deal with all these critics clamoring for attention, all at the same time. We need to organize this chaos so we can sort it out properly. Yes, I realize I am probably delusional and doing life all wrong, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t called your number yet. I just might send you to the back of the line for trying to take cuts.
One can join them, become one of the perpetually offended and chronically indignant, and that’s a hat I sometimes like to try on, but once again I am rather lazy. The problem with offense and indignation, is that the moment I try one outfit on, there are half a dozen others piling up on me outside the dressing room.
You have to be quick to forgive in this world or in the blink of an eye you’ll wind up with this huge laundry list of unfinished chores and baggage. Lord, search my heart, over and over again. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.” It’s like a maintenance thing to preserve your sanity and prevent all those critics from constantly defining you.
This can be especially valuable in marriage. Somebody smart once said, “marriage is the union of two professional forgivers.” I like that very much. Two soft and forgiving hearts are a good recipe for relationships. That can be problematic however, because there are often two people involved, human people, and that alone is a recipe for disaster. It can be like a union between two entire villages of critics.
I have a lovely husband, one who brought me some beautiful purple roses and sweet peas yesterday. He is the one critical voice I actually listen to and take into consideration and under advisement. It seems as if he does the same, he genuinely listens to me, although I try very hard not to come across as “critical.” I used to, I used to complain quite often, but he is just like me, too much criticism and he will just shut you out. You will just become like white noise, like a dripping faucet, like a mosquito buzzing about, annoying perhaps, but something one just wants to ignore. As we should! Who takes advice from a mosquito? Truth delivered with gentleness and love is far more effective.
Something that can be really helpful in dealing with critics is surrendering all to Jesus Christ, frequently. Lord, I am offended and indignant, is this me or is it them? Usually if I have an emotional response, there is something trying to get my attention, something unfinished, something unrecognized. All is not well with my soul. So you ask for forgiveness, you ask the Lord to fix it. And you follow His instructions, you accept His forgiveness, and you forgive yourself, because to hold your own self in unforgiveness is really like saying the blood of the Lamb is not adequate to wash away my sins, my flaws, my imperfections. That can be a real struggle, but it is true. Sometimes we need to apologize or make amends or right wrongs to complete this process, but there is nothing noble about holding onto unforgiveness of ourselves.
When you know better, you do better.
And sometimes when you go to the foot of the cross, God simply says, that’s not you, it’s them. So tell me, why are you trying to seek the favor of lunkheads again, when my grace is sufficient?? Well, He may not always use those precise words, but that’s the gist of it.
His grace is more than sufficient, His favor is all we need, and when all is right between you and Him, those critics will just slip off of you like eggs in a non stick pan. Sometimes, if you are truly blessed, you can even reach out to those murmurers, to the chronically indignant and perpetually offended, and ease their angst.